Springs man sentenced in "brutal" massage parlor assault

April 13, 2009

David Jonathan Welch will spend between 28 years to life in prison for stabbing and sexually assaulting a woman in an El Paso County massage parlor in July 2007.

Fourth Judicial District Judge David Prince imposed the sentence Monday on the 29-year-old Colorado Springs man who had pleaded guilty to sexual assault with a deadly weapon.

"I recognize what I've done," Welch told Prince, apologizing to the court and the woman he assaulted.

The victim was not in the courtroom for the sentencing, although deputy District Attorney Bruce Rands said she was familiar with the terms of the plea bargain and had given her approval.

The attack occurred around 3:30 a.m. on July 8, 2007. According to an arrest affidavit, Welch had been looking at pornography that morning and began calling area massage parlors asking for sex.

He later told deputies that he drove to Tokyo Palace at 2870 S. Circle Drive and talked to a woman whom he tried to "swindle" for sex. However she refused and he left.

He returned to the massage parlor about 90 minutes later, pried open the door with a screw driver and attacked a woman who had been sleeping inside.

Welch tossed his cell phone and the screwdriver out his car window as he drove home, where he set fire to his blood-soaked jeans in the street.

He later called sheriff's deputies and surrendered. If not for that call, the victim might not have survived, Rands said.

Defense attorney Dennis Hartley presented about 12 letters to the judge in support of Welch. Hartley said his client has taken advantage of anger management and alcoholism programs while in jail.

Prince said he appreciated that Welch had done some positive things, but also noted that the offense had been "brutal."

In addition to the prison sentence, Prince ordered that Welch serve 20 years to life on parole and that he pay restitution of $19,447.

Read John Ensslin's blog, The Sidebar, here.




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